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SED Research Area:
Assessments of New Systems, Technologies, and Research and Development Portfolios

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SED analyzes new systems and technologies to assess the maturity of new technologies, explore concepts of employment of new systems, characterize emerging threats and methods to defeat them, and set investment priorities within research and development portfolios. Some selected recent SED projects are briefly described below along with the publication year of the associated report.

  • Resilient Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) — For the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, IDA investigated lighter-than-air vehicle and unmanned aerial vehicle concepts as alternatives for a resilient ISR capability for anti-access and area denial environments.  The task developed promising system concepts and associated operational concepts; estimated performance characteristics and cost; analyzed collection effectiveness; and examined technical and operational limitations of the conceptual solutions and potential mitigations.  (2013)

  • Verification and Validation of Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) Analytical Applications — IDA supported the Defense Threat Reduction Agency by conducting analysis for the Biosurveillance Ecosystem (BSVE) program, which is developing software for biosurveillance (e.g., quickly detecting and tracking infectious outbreaks by exploiting novel sources of information such as social media or search engine requests).  We identified a set of promising research efforts and software models for potential inclusion in BSVE and assessed whether candidate BSVE software components (“apps”) are technically sound, properly documented, and compliant with BSVE software standards.  (2015, 2016)

  • The quantitative analyses for anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) space systems project, a multi-institute effort led by IDA for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)), examined the problem of countering threats to U.S. space systems during conventional military conflicts. (2013)
  • The assessment of counter-precision guided munitions (PGM) air defense for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) examined the threat posed by state-of-the-art counter-PGM systems to U.S. precision strike capabilities and explored methods of defeating the threat. (2013)
  • The hard and deeply-buried target (HDBT) defeat analysis for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (ASD(R&E)) examined the critical technologies associated with defeating adversary targets that are hardened against air attack or buried deeply underground to protect and conceal their functions. The project aimed to identify any shortfalls in the U.S. ability to hold HDBTs at risk, evaluate potential technologies and systems to defeat the projected HDBT threat, and make recommendations on technology investments for finding, characterizing, attacking, and assessing the results of attacks on HDBTs. (2013)
  • The Joint Strike Missile (JSM) technology readiness assessment for the Director, International Cooperation assessed the technological maturity of the Norwegian-developed JSM air-delivered cruise missile. (2014)
  • The review of methods and algorithms for the dynamic management of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) data collection assets for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) examined the state of the art in algorithm technologies that could be applied to the problem of fusing sensor information with physics-based model predictions to support CBRN incident threat detection, classification, identification, or localization. (2013)
  • The conventional explosive and explosive precursor component standoff detection capabilities-based assessment for the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV) consisted of an assessment of operational needs for detecting roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices remotely (from standoff), an identification of gaps in detection abilities, and a technical assessment of detection capabilities their potential applicability to solving the standoff explosives detection problem. (2010)
  • The vulnerability assessment of modern communications sensitive to over-the-air interference for the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV) examined the vulnerabilities of adversary communications devices used to trigger roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices. (2012)

  • Agent-based simulations of strike missions can be used to predict the survivability of next-generation stealthy strike aircraft.  The figure below describes SED’s Air Intercept Model (AIM) for calculating the risk of a strike aircraft being engaged by adversary interceptor aircraft or surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) while penetrating adversary airspace.  The simulation outputs shown here were generated using a fictional placement of own forces and opposing forces and with generic performance parameters. (2008-2016)